A man in the vanguard of progress in Nez Perces County, a skillful and enterprising agriculturist, and withal a man of sound principles and good capabilities, it is with pleasure that we accord to John M. Nelson representation in the volume of his County’s history.
He was born in Adams County, Illinois, near Quincy, on May 28, 1867, being the son of James R. and Mary C. (Ruddell) Nelson, both born near Quincy, also, the father in 1842, his parents being dead, and the mother’s parents are dead also. They were pioneers of the section of Illinois adjacent to Quincy.
The parents of our subject removed from Adams County to Marion County, Iowa, when he was seven years of age. Two years later they removed to the vicinity of Walla Walla, going by way of San Francisco and consuming twenty-one days on the trip. The father took a homestead and farmed there for four years and then went to Tammany hollow, settled on a homestead and there resides now.
Until he arrived at the age of majority, John M. labored with his father when he started in the world for himself. He farmed in this County two years and then went to Lincoln County, Washington, and farmed for seven years. During this time he spent one year prospecting in British Columbia. Then he returned to Nez Perces County and prospected in Thunder Mountain district, with, the gratifying result that of locating with others the properties that made the camp famous. At the close of a year he returned to the farm where he now lives, ten miles southeast from Lewiston and to this he has given his attention, also handling a threshing machine and two headers. He is very enterprising and is a leader in his section. He has a half section of land all under cultivation and has enough crops in addition to make fourteen hundred acres all told; he owns nearly five hundred head of cattle.
On August 5, 1899, Mr. Nelson married Clara M. (Flickinger) Robertson, daughter of George W. and Sarah A. (Kuntz) Flickinger, natives of Pennsylvania, born in 1830 and 1832, respectively. Mrs. Nelson is a native of Illinois, born February 25, 1868, and has the following named brothers and sisters. Flora E. Morey, Susanna Webb, Amos E., and Alice Noel. Mr. Nelson has brothers and sisters named as follows, Commodore, Sarah Whitcomb, Frank, Horace, Riley, George, Martha McCoy, Joseph, and Ernest.
Mr. Nelson is a member of the I. O. O. F. at Lewiston. He is a Democrat and active in political matters. Mrs. Nelson is a member of the Methodist church. Mr. Nelson had three uncles, John, Dee, and George Ruddle, who fought in the Civil War. Mrs. Nelson’s father was a soldier in the same war and marched with Sherman to the sea. He died in 1892 but his widow still lives in Kansas.
Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903